While the term sounds quite formal, with respect to e-discovery, in practice, “Information Governance” really means getting your electronic house in order so that you can mitigate risks and expenses should e-discovery become an issue in the future. “Getting your electronic house in order” covers the entire data lifecycle, from the initial creation of electronically stored information (“ESI”) through its final disposition, and potentially involves an organization’s entire suite of technology and related processes, policies and strategies. Indeed, IG becomes the foundation and framework of an organization’s management of its information assets and, importantly, the degree to which e-discovery processes are streamlined and cost-efficient is dependent upon having effective IG policies and procedures in place.
It takes a minute to come to terms with the definitions of "structured" and "unstructured" data. It seems logical to associate “formatting,” such as the formatting that comes with word documents (indentation, headers and footers, paragraphs, etc.) with “structure,” but the terms are used very differently when it comes to describing data. This blog will explore structured data, particularly as it pertains to the preservation, collection, processing, review and production of such data, using the Slack instant communication tool as an example.
There is often a lot of discussion around the processing and review of documents in a litigation, most likely because these phases end up costing the most money and taking the most time. What is often overlooked, however, is the collection process and how that phase sets the tone for the rest of discovery, including overall case strategy, knowledge gathering and cost thresholds for the case. In this blog, I lay out some best practices that can be followed to collect data in a sound manner while keeping costs reasonable and gathering all relevant information.
This is Part Three of a continuing series on ESI basics. In this series, we cover some of the terms used most often on the tech-side of e-discovery. In Part One, we provided an overview of PSTs. You can find that article here. In Part Two, we provided a primer on data processing. You can find that article here. Whether this is an introduction to you or a refresher, and whether you are an attorney, member of an in-house team or data analyst, this information may come in handy in your practice.
Given that data processing is a technical activity, how involved should legal teams be in this phase of discovery? In my opinion, case teams do not need to be experts about document processing tool mechanics (that’s what WE are for!). However, in my experience, legal teams that spend the effort to develop four specific skills end up with robust document databases, efficient reviewers and happy clients.